Esther Perel quotes from her book Mating in Captivity

“One of the most formative personal experiences underlying this book may seem circuitous, but I must reveal it to you, as it sheds a light on the deeper motivations that fuel my passion. My parents were survivors of Nazi concentration camps. 

They both felt that they had been granted a unique gift: living life again. 

My parents were unusual, I think. They didn’t just want to survive; they want to revive. They possessed a thirst for life, thrived on exuberant experiences, and loved to have a good time. They cultivated pleasure.” 

“By restoring their sense of creativity and their capacity for play and pleasure, these survivors are ultimately helped to reconnect with life and the hope that fuels it. My husband deals with pain; I deal with pleasure. They are intimately acquainted.”

“I see people who all come see me because they yearn for erotic vitality. Sometimes they come sheepish; sometimes they arrive desperate, dejected, enraged. They don’t just miss sex, the act; they miss the feeling of connection, playfulness, and renewal that sex allows them. I invite you to join me in my conversations with these questers as we work toward opening up and coming a step closer to transcendence.”

“Some relationships originate in feelings of warmth, tenderness, and nurturance, and the partners choose to remain in these calmer waters. They prefer a love that is built on patience more than on passion. To them, finding serenity in a lasting bond is what counts.”

“For realists, maturity prevails. The initial excitement grows into something else- deep love, mutual respect, shared history, and companionship. Diminishing desire is inescapable. You are expected to tough it out and grow up.” (p.3)

“Romantics value intensity over stability. Realists value security over passion.” (p.3)

“As he explains it, we all need security: permanence, reliability,stability, and continuity. These rooting, nesting instincts ground us in our human experience. But we also have a need for novelty and change, generative forces that give life fullness and vibrancy. Here risk and adventure loom large. We’re walking contradictions, seeking safety and predictability on one hand and thriving on diversity on the other.” (p.4)

“The realistic part of me knows that the excitement in the beginning is because of the insecurity in not quite knowing what he’s feeling.” (p.6)

“Today, our sexuality is an open-ended personal project; it is part of who we are, an identity, and no longer merely something we do. It has become a central feature of intimate relationships, and sexual satisfaction, we believe, is our due. The era of pleasure has arrived.” (p.8)

“Rose’s desires for Charles came back to life in tandem with his interest in other women. The more he eludes her, the more she wants him. And for his part, seeing her care so much about what he does has a profound erotic appeal.” (p.16)

“There was a lot of pain, but at the same time there was a vibrancy that neither could deny. ” (p.17)

“Love arises from within ourselves as an imaginative act, a creative synthesis that aims to fulfill our deepest longings, our oldest dreams, that allows us both to renew and transform ourselves. Love is at once an affirmation and a transcendence of who we are.” (p.20)

“Transported as they were in this early rapture, they felt free and open. They relished the meeting of their two worlds, were endlessly curious, and luxuriated in their feelings of mutuality and warmth, free from the torments of the outside world.” (p.21)

 

 

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